West Midland Regional League
Thursday 3rd May 2018
Tividale 3-1 Black Country Rangers
Black Country beaten in the Black Country
We can now just about see the finishing line in this long hard and hopefully rewarding season. After this result and the 10 goal swing against Malvern Town. One more win or three points from three games will see us as runners up.
Tividale collected the three points required to all but seal second position in the WMRL Premier Division with another outstanding display.
It is now down to Malvern Town to beat Champions Wolverhampton Sporting by a cricket score as we have a 20 goal advantage and us lose our last 2 games.
With Tividale’s next match not for another 4 day’s. manager Dave King was able to risk many of his front line squad. To balance the loss of Curtis Cocking who will now be unavailable for the rest of the season, Tividale welcomed the return of Liam Wilkinson. Also returning to the starting line up was Tom Hurdman for Harvey Walker and Dan Smith for the injured Tyree Clarke.
On a balmy evening, ideal for football both sides showed why they have been amongst the front runners in this league all season. With both playing some exquisite pass and move football.
In a game were chances were going to be at a premium Tividale took the lead with their first chance on 15 minutes. Dan Smith hammered a shot that hit a Rangers defender and out for a corner and from the resulting corner kick. Lee Smith rose above everyone and his downward header came off the foot of Rangers skipper Matt Vaughan and over the line.
Two minutes later and Tividale’s passing absolutely sliced through the visitors defence with Wilkinson sending a perfectly weighted ball through to Bustin, who never broke side as he steered the ball past rangers keeper Richard Kennedy.
Rangers would always be a threat and being two goals down were now going to be like a wounded animal and on 21 minutes Bradley Lawley forced Tividale keeper Ryan Cheshire into a fine save. Dan Smith then dragged a Bustin cross wide.
With the game wide open and both sides literally going for it. Ex Tividale striker Shaquille Leachman-Whittingham’s free kick on half hour whistled past Cheshire’s post. Tividale had a great chance of going into the break 3-0 up when in typical Dan Smith fashion he closed down Kennedy in what seemed to be a lost cause, forced the keeper into hooking his clearance straight to Bustin but he could not find the target from distance. Cheshire then pulled off another brilliant save from a shot that he saw late and came from nowhere
Half-Time:-Tividale 2-0 Black Country Rangers
Rangers were the side that threatened the most at the start of the second half and the home sides had to show their defensive qualities as they fended off waive after waive of attacks. the best chances being Jake Healey unable to et a touch to a Whittingham cross after some great work by the later. Then a Whittingham shot was beat away to Healy by Cheshire but the forward completely missed the target with the rebound.
Tividale seemed to have weathered the Rangers second half assault and on 72 minutes they forced a corner. Rangers initially headed clear the ball to Bustin on the edge of the box and his ball back into the box was met by Brown and his deft header beat Kennedy all ends up.
Rangers were giving a lifeline on 76 minutes when match referee Mr Roskelly awarded them a penalty when Healey went down after the slightest of coming touches by Hurdman. Whittingham then stepped up and beat Cheshire from the spot.
Tividale showed great game management in closing out the game and ensuring that their was to be no more scares as they collected the three points.
Full-Time:-Tividale 3-1 Black Country Rangers
Tividale:-1.Ryan Cheshire, 2.Tom Hurdman, 3 Darragh Bustin, 4.Ben Birch, 5.Freddie Watts, 6. Karl Gardner (14. Dan Bryson 77), 7.Lee Smith, Liam Wilkinson, 9.Demetri Brown (14. Harvey Walker 89), 10.Dan Smith (16. Chris Bladen 56), 11.Bradley Welding
Unused Subs:-.15. Elliott Hartley, 17.Liam Smith
|9. Demetri Brown||Goal|
|2. Tom Hurdman|
|12. Frederick Watts|
|5. Karl Gardner|
|3. Darragh Bustin||Goal|
|8. Liam Wilkinson|
|10. Daniel Smith|
|16. Bradley Welding|
|1. Ryan Cheshire|
|11. Lee Smith||Goal|
|17. Benjamin Birch|
|14. Liam Smith|
|19. Harvey Walker||Sub9|
|7. Elliott Hartley|
|18. Daniel Bryson||Sub5|